Saturday, May 23, 2009

MOCA? More Like NO-CA!

Today we had the worst museum experience of our lives. And it really pains me to say this, because we like museums. We have been taking advantage of Museum Month in Miami, and today we thought we'd try the Museum of Contemporary Art. Here's the play-by-play of why it sucked.
1. We got there a few minutes after opening. On our way in, we saw they have a ticker with the number of visitors they've had; it said 485. Kev was not optimistic, but I was still willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. Upon our arrival, we were told that they were still starting up some of the displays and that we would need to stay in the gift shop for a few more minutes. Not exactly a kid-friendly gift shop, and Stellan let us know he noticed.
2. When we did finally get in, we quickly noticed all 5 of the security guards. Even though it's a 9,000 square foot open gallery, they all felt the need to hover no further than 20 feet at any given time. We felt like criminals. They didn't have anything to tell us about the exhibits, they just followed us around very closely and suspiciously. Did I mention we were the only visitors in the whole museum?
3. Lots of very dark (almost no lighting) cave-like exhibits did not go well with Stellan.
4. Their current exhibition is called "Convention." From their website: "Convention takes as its premise the predominance of mega cultural events such as conventions, festivals, fairs, expos and other social gatherings in an international society." They recreated a few living rooms in which locals have hosted salons and had many digital displays with video footage of gathering places. In the center of the wide-open gallery, there was a very large raised black surface that looked like a dance floor. I thought, "That's an interesting juxtaposition; especially in a place like Miami, many people do convene on dance floors." Stellan decided to give it a shot when several of the guards rushed over (that didn't take long, they were only 10 feet away) to angrily tell us to get him off the stage. Stage? Where did it say that? Where did it say that this was not part of the exhibit but an actual stage they needed to keep in pristine condition? That is a serious lack of labeling; they let you sit in the living rooms, walk on the carpet samples from different conference centers at NY hotels, so why wouldn't we assume we could walk across the stage in the dead center of the gallery?
5. We tried, but Stellan was pretty much over it. On our way out, we prompted him to thank one of the guards who was standing in our pathway out. He [the guard] suddenly got friendly on us, and tried to coax Stellan into enjoying the exhibits. He was the only positive thing that happened during our visit, but it was too little, too late.
All in all, we lasted about 20 minutes. It was a good thing that we didn't pay, because I would have demanded our money back. 


Katie said...


My guess is that dancing is normally okay, but that the guards were jealous of Stellan's mad skillz.

D said...

Aren't stages meant for performing on? How sad they didn't appreciate the show.

Brandy said...

Wow you lasted longer than I probably would have. With only 400ish visitors total those guards probably had never really done much so they were taking their jobs WAY too serious from the sound of things!